Tradition. (noun) // That which is passed down from generation to generation. 


Traditions, we all have them. We’ve all received and passed on Christmas customs.
Do you have a favorite Christmas tradition? Of course, you do.  But how do you choose? There are so many. There’s decorating, music, shopping, baking, stockings, presents, parties, tv specials, concerts, Christmas carols, and church services. You know the list could go on and on. Have you ever stopped to consider how we arrived with all these traditions? When you consider the original story, you almost have to stop and wonder where did all the elaborate traditions come from?


To be clear, I love Christmas. There is something about the typical hustle and bustle of this time of year. So many of the traditional sights, sounds, and annual festivities are designed to draw us together, capture our attention, and direct us to the birth of Jesus. Typically, my thought has been any tradition that draws attention to Jesus is good with me. Bring them on! However, this tradition-rich season is having a little different effect. It’s actually begun to remind me just how untraditional this year has been. For sure, there is little doubt that this year’s end will be unlike any we’ve seen. And so, you see, we are calling this series Traditional Christmasbecause in this very untraditional year there is one tradition that will not change.


My favorite tradition is found in the nativity. At our home, Robyn has one made of olive wood, which she purchased in Jerusalem over twenty years ago. It’s simple yet profound. Very modest yet rich in communicating the truth that’s been passed on for generations. That is tradition, right? Tradition is that which is passed on from generation to generation. This year, we will pass on again the truth of Jesus. We tell as we should the simple story of Mary, Joseph, the angels, the shepherds, and of course the baby. It’s a story that we are commanded to pass on; and in this way, it is a tradition that will always be and will never change. Come on, friends, look deeply into the nativity. Let’s journey again through the passages that we know so well.  But let’s do it with a fresh sense of delight. Let’s come as we traditionally do with a longing to receive the hope, joy, peace, and love that is to be passed on in the story’s telling this year.

We’ll begin this week in Matthew 1:18-25 where we will find “Hope in the Prophet’s Voice.”


Matthew 1:18–25 (ESV)

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.


Let’s enjoy a traditional Christmas together. Also, be sure to listen to the worship set as you prepare for worship.

Jerry Lingenfelter
Senior Pastor

9:00 AM  – Worship Service On Campus & Online (Lancaster Campus)
9:15 AM – Worship Service On Campus (Myerstown Campus)
11:00 AM – Worship Service on Campus & Online (Lancaster Campus)



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